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Organizing a Union with the IWW

There is power in a union - and it depends on organization and solidarity

Focus on the fundamentals

The IWW is different from many other labor unions in our focus on the fundamentals of turning workplace problems into winnable union demands: the relationships you build with your coworkers.

Some people have the impression that organizing a union at your job is just a matter of you and your coworkers signing a piece of paper that authorizes the union to bargain on your behalf. But unless you are organized and ready to take action over issues that are important to you, the legal paperwork is just window dressing.

The only way to achieve lasting gains is with a durable, long-lasting labor organization at your job that is built on strong relationships among you and your coworkers ready to back up your needs with action. The IWW will provide you with support tailored for your situation to help you build that organization.

Workers on strike

Why Relationships?

Your ability to improve your working conditions depends on your collective power with other workers - meaningful solidarity needs organization and relationships. You can't go on strike to demand better if you don't know your coworkers and have some structure for making that decision.

Direct Action

Getting to a formally recognized union at your job takes time and organization. If you have strong relationships with your coworkers you can already start winning improvements in your working conditions through concerted actions at your job even before formal recognition.


Bigger than just your workplace


Solidarity with other workers

You aren't alone in the One Big Union - you are organizing to be in solidarity with workers of all jobs.

At your workplace your employer relies on people doing jobs in coordination with yours. You use tools, work on materials, and interact with workers from other workplaces in your industry. Those workers are an opportunity to exert more pressure on your employer if they are organized.

That's why when you organize a union in the IWW you join an Industrial Union that includes all workers in your industry. They are the democratic bodies that coordinate action across workplaces and jobs within an industry.

One Big Union - an upraised fist made from the working class

Learn from experienced organizers


Get started with organizing a union at your job with our organizer training programs

Build relationships

Learn how to start bringing up workplace issues with your coworkers and discovering common issues you can organize around

Develop power

Gain skills for how to talk to your boss about your demands and deal with possible retaliation

Start a union

Find out how to move from talking about common problems with your coworkers to building the organization you need for a union

Ready to make a change at your job?

Contact our organizing department and start building a union

Fancy IWW Logo
© 2021 Industrial Workers of the World